man with dreadlocks image by nutech21 from

One of the biggest myths about having dreadlocks--hair that is knotted and matted into long tubes called locks--is that wearers achieve their look by never washing their hair. It's very important, aside from maintaining proper hygiene, to thoroughly and regularly wash dreadlocks with a soap or shampoo that deeply cleanses them and leaves no residue behind in order to keep the knots from slipping and to tighten the locks. While there are commercially available dreadlocks soaps and shampoos available for purchase, it’s easy to make and customize your own at home.

Crumble the lavender, rosemary, and mint into the saucepan and add 1/2 cup water.

Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Allow to cool completely. This will create a strong “tea” of the herbs that you will add to your dreadlocks soap. These herbs add a pleasant scent, of course, but also have a cooling, antiseptic effect on the scalp, and help relive any itch associated with wearing dreadlocks.

Strain the tea from the herbs by pouring the contents of the saucepan through a coffee filter into a bowl.

Throw away the leftover herbs and coffee filter.

Pour the tea back into the saucepan and add 12 ounces of liquid castile soap.

Stir over very low heat for a few minutes until the soap and tea are blended. Do not allow to boil.

Allow to cool, then pour the dreadlocks soap into a 16-ounce bottle.


Use the dreadlocks soap the same way you use ordinary shampoo. Wet your hair, lather some of the soap through your dreads (be sure and get your scalp), then rinse completely.

If desired, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the soap after you have poured it into the 16-ounce container. Shake well to mix.

About the Author

Kate Bruscke

A writer and professional lab assistant based in Seattle, Kate Bruscke has been writing professionally about health care and technology since 1998. Her freelance clients include "The Seattle Times,", Reading Local: Seattle, Nordstrom and MSN/Microsoft. Bruscke holds a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.